Boris Johnson breathing without aid in ICU



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in a stable condition in the intensive care unit of a London hospital but is not on ventilator.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stood in for Mr Johnson at his daily press briefing and said the 55-year-old leader "remained stable overnight" and has been receiving standard oxygen treatment at St Thomas's hospital in central London.

"He remains in good spirits and in keeping with usual clinical practice, continues to be monitored closely in critical care," he said.

The PM had not been sedated or placed on a mechanical ventialator which would essentially breathe for him. Earlier in the day it was confirmed Mr Johnson did not have pnuemonia.

"He's receiving the very best care from the excellent medical team," Mr Raab said.

He also thanked those who had expressed their support for Mr Johnson, saying "he's not just our boss, he's also a colleague and he's also our friend. All of our thoughts and prayers are with the PM, with Carrie and the family."

"He's a fighter and he'll be back at the helm, leading us through this crisis in short order."


Mr Johnson, 55, was admitted to hospital on Sunday afternoon and moved to intensive care around 7pm on Monday night local time.

He was concious at the time, but had received around four litres of oxygen according to media reports. He has not yet been on a ventilator, but is close to one should he need it.

On Monday, Mr Johnson asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to stand in as his deputy.

Cabinet Minister, Michael Gove, who is also self-isolating for the disease, said Mr Johnson is "receiving the very, very best care from the team at St Thomas' and our hopes and prayers are with him and with his family."

"We're desperately hoping that Boris can make the speediest possible recovery," he said.

News of Mr Johnson's hospitalisation shocked Britain as he had previously tweeted that he was in "good spirits" after recieving his government papers and would continue to lead the country from his hospital bed.

On Tuesday the Queen and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sent their well wishes to Mr Johnson and his pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, who has also shown symptoms of the virus.

Earlier, Housing Minister Robert Jenrick suggested he was "doing well" and was expected to be back at his office shortly

"He'll stay in hospital as long as he needs to do that, but I've heard that he's doing well and I very much look forward to him being back in Number 10 as soon as possible," Mr Jenrick told the BBC.

"This isn't an emergency admission and so I certainly expect that he'll be back at Number 10 shortly," he added, referring to Johnson's Downing Street residence.


A police officer patrols outside a hospital where it’s believed Boris Johnson is undergoing tests. Picture: Frank Augstein
A police officer patrols outside a hospital where it’s believed Boris Johnson is undergoing tests. Picture: Frank Augstein


Johnson is suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 11 days after testing positive for the virus.

On March 27, he went into isolation at an apartment in Downing Street and said on Friday he was staying there as he still had a high temperature.


The UK has no formal succession plan should the Prime Minister become incapacitated.

US President Donald Trump said Johnson was a "strong man" as he passed on his nation's best wishes.

"All Americans are praying for him," Trump told a news conference. "He's a friend of mine, he's a great gentleman and a great leader, and as you know he went to the hospital today but I'm hopeful and sure that he's going to be fine."

"Clearly the prime minister is finding it difficult to shake this thing off," said Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology at Nottingham University.

"What it does show is how difficult it is to predict how this infection will develop, and whilst most people will experience nothing more than an annoying cold, for others this can develop into a serious and sometimes life-threatening disease."

Medics said that patients with COVID-19 can deteriorate after about 10 days, with some developing pneumonia.

Johnson posted a video message on Friday, appearing weary, sitting in a chair with his shirt open at the neck.

"Although I'm feeling better and I've done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I still have a temperature," he said.

He was last seen on April 2 when he appeared outside Downing Street to clap for the NHS carers.

Originally published as Johnson breathing without aid in ICU